Tamper with 13% derivation fund at Nigeria’s peril, group warns northern lawmakers
Niger Delta-based Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC) has warned the 59 House of Representatives members to stop the plot to scrap 13 per cent derivation fund or continue at the country’s peril.
Chairman, CHURAC Board of Trustees, Cleric Alaowei, while reacting to the alleged plot to tamper with the constitutional provisions of the livewire of oil and gas-producing states on Sunday, said the plot was to further impoverish the Niger Delta region.
“The bill allegedly sponsored by a number of Northern lawmakers in the National Assembly to alter section 162 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is an assault on the pauperised oil-bearing communities. It is appalling that at this point of our national oddities, some persons want to stir the turbulent water of insurrection.
“Deleting the 13% derivation from the constitution appears like declaring the environmentally-degraded and despoiled oil-producing communities as slaves who deserved nothing to benefit in Nigeria including resources found in their lands.
“It simply means that the oil-bearing communities should suffer environmental destruction without remediation,” he averred.
According to him, “chapter two of the constitution declared Nigeria as a country of social justice with equal partners where no ethnic groups should be discriminated in any manner.
“Will the oil host communities or better still the Niger Delta region be at peace with the Federal Government if this economic apathy is perfected by their oppressors?” he queried.
The Ijaw-born rights crusader opined that Nigeria which is already plagued by numerous challenges can’t afford to add more, warning that “the country will not survive the conflagration.”
While admonishing the sponsors of that “draconian” bill to rather increase the derivation fund to 50 per cent as was in the 60s, Alaowei called on the South-South lawmakers to sponsor a similar bill at the National Assembly to allow oil-bearing states to have 100 per cent control of the natural resources and pay royalties to the Federal Government as expected in an ideal federal structure.
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